By Scott Tibbs, January 27, 2003
As abortion continues to be a divisive issue in American society, one hears many examples of violence against abortion providers and abortion clinic staff. From the shooting of Dr. Barnett Slepian in 1998 to the anthrax hoaxes perpetrated in October of 2001. What you don’t hear about is violence perpetrated by pro-abortion forces.
The Center for Bioethical Reform has been the target of pro-abortion violence due to its “Genocide Awareness Project”. CBR documents acts of violence against its staff and volunteers on its Web site, including a picture of a pro-abortion counter protester having a knife confiscated from him by police after he attempted to slash a GAP sign, and a report of a pro-abortion advocate throwing hot coffee in the face of a GAP volunteer. In 1999, three pro-abortion students destroyed a GAP display at the University of British Columbia. It is ironic that while pro-abortion groups like Indiana University’s own “Campus for Choice” falsely accuse CBR of promoting violence, the violence surrounding the GAP is perpetrated by pro-abortion individuals.
When Dr. Barnett Slepian was murdered in 1998, the Washington Post quoted a former Slepian patient as saying "He was a kind, gentle, sweet man. He took wonderful care of people." But ten years earlier, Slepian used a baseball bat to attack a pro-life activist demonstrating outside his home, also shattering the windows of a van pro-life activists drove to his home. Rightgrrl.com quotes the January 5th, 1988 issue of the Wanderer: “On December 5, 1988, Buffalo abortionist Barnett Slepian went wild when several pro-lifers sang Christmas carols outside his home on a public sidewalk. Slepian grabbed a baseball bat and severely injured Ronald Breymeier, 48, by beating him on the head, back, and arms, before smashing out all of the windows on Breymeier's van.” This was a “kind, gentle, sweet man”? The “tolerance” of pro-abortion activists is also displayed in another article on Rightgrrl.com.
Carolyn Gargaro details many examples, cited and documented, of pro-abortion violence on her Web site. Among the examples are James Wilson, 37, who punched and kicked pro-life demonstrators and threatened to stab one of them after brandishing a knife. The San Francisco Chronicle reported that a Crisis Pregnancy Center was vandalized several times by pro-aborts.
Other examples are present as well. The Thomas More Foundation reported on November 6th of a judgement against abortion clinic staff that attacked a pro-life demonstrator as he was passing out literature on the sidewalk. In another incident, a pro-life sidewalk counselor was shoved and then shot at outside an abortion clinic. The Kansas City Star reported on January 15th, 2001 of a man who drove by an abortion clinic where pro-life activists were praying and threatened them with a gun. The Christian Times reports that, among other incidents, “ In a series of incidences from June through December of 1993, for example, pro-abortionists at the Redding Feminist Women’s Health Center committed unprovoked attacks on peaceful picketers, attempting to run one down with a truck, beating another with a sign, throwing rocks, kicking, punching and jumping on others.”
Congress passed the 1994 Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances (FACE) Act in response to organizations like Operation Rescue using civil disobedience to attempt to prevent women from entering the clinic to have abortions. But are pro-abortion advocates innocent in this matter? One can view has several animated GIF’s at www.lektrik.com featuring videos of violent activity by pro-abortion clinic “escorts”, including one of an “escort” shoving a pro-life demonstrator to prevent her from walking down a public sidewalk.
What is the point of this? While one hears a lot about the “violent” nature of some on the anti-abortion side, little is heard of the violence perpetrated by pro-aborts. The point is balance. The American people are getting a very unbalanced, and therefore very misleading, view abortion-related violence in this country. The mainstream media, which is by and large pro-“choice”, jumps on reports of anti-abortion violence while ignoring pro-abortion violence. Planned Parenthood didn’t hesitate to cynically exploit the September 11th terrorist attacks to continue to smear pro-lifers as violent extremists. The effect is to de-legitimize the pro-life movement by casting us as violent extremists against the “peaceful” pro-abortion advocates.
Nothing, of course, justifies violence by anti-abortion extremists. No matter how much violence is perpetrated by pro-abortion advocates, anti-abortion violence is never justified. But it would be nice to see the same level of attention paid to pro-abortion violence as is paid to anti-abortion violence. It would also be nice if pro-abortion violence was denounced as strongly and as frequently as anti-abortion violence. Several pro-life groups have signed a Pro-Life Proclamation Against Violence. Shouldn’t pro-abortion groups do the same?